A heartbreaking story of parents who left their three-month old, premature baby to die of malnourishment, while they raised a virtual daughter online in an MMORPG has surfaced over on ABC.
Apparently the child’s South Korean parents, referred to in the report as “the Kims” to protect their identity, would leave their infant at home while they snuck off to internet cafés to feed their game play addiction for up to 12 hours a night.
One night, after pulling an all-night gaming binge, the 41-year old man and his 25-year old wife, who met on chat site two years ago, came home to find their real life child dead, with an autopsy revealing the reason to be starvation.
Confessing their disgusting crimes to Korean authorities, the pair also admitted to feeding their real life child rotten, powdered milk and confessed to spanking her in attempts to silence her crying. Hardly model parents then.
But in the most revolting and ironic twist, the game the Kims were purportedly addicted to was one called Prius, a multi-role-playing game similar to the Sims, which lets players work, interact with others and nurture “extra avatars or sub characters” (kids) once they attain a certain level. The Kims, apparently, had attained this level and seemed remarkably committed to their on-screen child.
In real life, the pair were unemployed and lived with the woman’s mother, who seems to have also neglected to notice her granddaughter’s cries and slow death from starvation.
Korea is known to have a serious problem with online game addicts, with many prominent professors and health officials in the country pushing to class the problem as a bonified brain disease with patterns similar to cocaine addiction.
Let’s hope the parents, who were taken into custody on Wednesday, aren’t given Internet access in prison.